[apps-discuss] A modest proposal for MIME types (and URI schemes)

Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com> Sun, 13 November 2011 18:59 UTC

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From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
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Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 10:59:21 -0800
Thread-Topic: A modest proposal for MIME types (and URI schemes)
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Cc: Roy Fielding <fielding@adobe.com>
Subject: [apps-discuss] A modest proposal for MIME types (and URI schemes)
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I'd like to discuss the proposal for MIME registrations from Roy Fielding in http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/happiana/current/msg00187.html
and the possibility that such changes should also apply to URI schemes.

You can read Roy's rationale, which makes sense to me, but my summary is: 

* Eliminate standards, vendor, personal trees distinction for MIME types (For URI schemes, eliminate distinction between provisional and permanent schemes)
* ENCOURAGE vendors to ship with vendor-neutral short-named types regardless of whether they have been registered yet or not;
   ENCOURAGE the public to register any names that they have seen in deployed software. (same for URI schemes)
* DO NOT try to avoid duplicates 
* EXPERT REVIEW for updates to existing registrations
* Eliminate any IESG or consensus review requirement

"There is absolutely no need to prevent name collisions in the registry itself because those collisions are irrelevant -- what matters is how the names are interpreted by recipients of messages."
"There is absolutely no need to prevent people who are not the owners of a media type from registering that type without any prefixes."
"The registry is not operable -- it is just documentation of how the Internet is operating, and it should reflect the reality of that operation even if that means we have multiple definitions per registered type."

I find this perspective appealing, and can't find anything wrong with it except that it's a break with tradition. If you're at IETF this week and want to talk about it, find me.